All Is Fair by Emma Newman
Genre: Urban Fantasy
All Is Fair is the third book in the Split Worlds series, and if you haven’t read the first two, stop reading now! I recommend reading this series in order and not looking at reviews of books past where you are.
This book started off slower than the others for me, despite all the potential it had. With Will as Duke of Londinium and Cathy as his duchess (side note: just realized in this book that the characters are Will and Catherine, just like the British royal family — I wonder if they influenced the author?), there were so many ways the plot could go. But then, Will became kind of unlikable and there was a lot of time spent on the sorcerer plot line, which wasn’t ideal for me (it’s my least favorite subplot).
Still, it did pick up steam and we got into a lot of really interesting things. I think Will even managed to redeem himself in the end for me, despite his obnoxious mistakes and controlling tendencies. And the real star of this book was, of course, Cathy, who seems to have found a way to exist in the Nether and make a difference, even if it is an uphill battle.
I don’t buy the romance that’s developing between Will and Cathy — he’s too controlling behind her back, and I’m surprised she forgives him as much as she does. I think she’s more interesting on her own, but I guess Will does play his part in the overall story.
Sam’s story is becoming more interesting, which is surprising because it hasn’t been all that exciting in the past two books. Now, though, he’s in a position to actually do something and to be a hero in one way or another, and I love that! True, he didn’t gain the position and power through any sort of merit (at least, not obviously), but he seems like he might have it in him to right some wrongs. I’m rooting for him and looking forward to seeing what he’s up to in book four.
Max and the gargoyle still don’t interest me really at all. They did take some control this time and make a decision that could change the course of events for arbiters and sorcerers, so we’ll see if there’s anything coming up that might make their whole part more exciting. Still not sure we need a walking talking gargoyle though!
Overall, I still like where this series is going. Even when I get frustrated with parts and wonder why they’re necessary, I can see how things tie together. I’m wondering how all of the different plot lines will be resolved in the end (whenever that is). I’m giving this book four stars, but only because the end bits started to get really exciting. The earlier parts were a little slow for me this time, and while still inventive, the pacing was just off. After three books, I do still recommend this series.